If you’ve been contemplating buying a GPS unit for your car, you are probably aware of the fact that many states in the USA have strictly forbidden its use on certain parts of the windshield or of the dashboard, and that there are some reasons for it.
Just as a phone conversation, texting, an inebriated front seat partner or all other distracting activities are forbidden or strongly recommended against, having a visual element that will most probably keep your eyes off the road is going to pose a continuous threat to the safety of your car ride. This is why you should always check for the legal limits for the use of the GPS and the recommendations of the NHTSA regarding this type of device. After you’ve mounted it in the right position, be sure to not let yourself distracted by the images on the screen and remember that, no matter how accurate the technology is, it can never replace your eyes.
This leads us to our next recommendation, which is to get accustomed to the route before leaving, so that you get an idea about speed limits and geographic features of the road that might not be pointed out by your device. Not only that signal can be lost at times, but maps are in continuous change, and you can never have too much information.
If your unit is a portable one, then it will need to be mounted somewhere in sight, preferably under the level of your wheel. However you place it, special attention must be paid to the mounting process, since a possible accident might turn the unit into a flying threat.
Another important rule is to not program the GPS while you’re driving. Whether you introduce the destination before you start the engine, or you ask a passenger to be in charge of the device, you need to keep your hands on the wheel and your mind focused on the road.
Lastly, many GPS units available on the market nowadays come with integrated voice command, and this is one perk that will certainly help you concentrate your attention on the road, instead of the screen. So if your unit has this feature, use it as many times as you can, for it is designed to ease the interaction between you and the unit, thus minimizing the risks of operating the device.